The Business of Travel

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The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association


Podcast: Data is the Foundation of All Negotiations

This week’s episode of The Business of Travel focuses on all things to do with travel data. We discuss the sheer amount of data available and how technology is changing the game. Several industry experts on the supplier side joined us to share their insights as well as two GBTA buyer members who shared their best practices on how they use data to build better travel programs.

Featured experts on this week's podcast episode include:

  • Andres Fabris, Founder & CEO, Traxo

  • Mat Orrego, CEO & Co-Founder, Cornerstone Information Systems

  • Mike Daly, Senior Vice President of Sales, Freebird

  • Peggy Studer, Vice President Marketing, RoomIt by CWT

  • Jami Stapelmann, Executive Director for Global Travel and Meetings, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

  • Leslie Andrews, Global Travel Category Manager, CDK Global  

 

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!


Podcast: No Appetite for a No-Deal Brexit

Last week, GBTA and ITM hosted the inaugural Strategic Meetings Management Symposium in London featuring keynoter Gillian Keegan, Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Chichester. A travel industry veteran, she shared her unique perspective on the outlook for the business travel industry in a post-Brexit world.

On today’s episode of The Business of Travel, hear excerpts from her remarks followed by a one-on-one interview with GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick. Mike and Gillian discuss how she got into politics from the travel world, the path forward for Brexit and the impact on business travel and business in general.

 

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!


Podcast: 2019 Trends: Sustainability, Security and Simple Meetings

The Business of Travel is back. We are kicking off ‘season two’ of GBTA’s official podcast with today’s episode featuring three GBTA members sharing the top business travel trends to look out for in 2019 around sustainability, security and simple meetings.

 

 

Episode guests include:

Aurora Dawn Benton
Founder & CEO, Astrapto
GBTA Sustainability & Responsibility Committee Member

Erin L. Wilk
Global Security Travel Safety Manager & Interim Head of Internal Communications for Global Security, Facebook
GBTA Board Member

Charles de Gaspe Beaubien
President & CEO, Groupize
GBTA Meetings Committee Member

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!


Passage of the FAA Bill Is A Major Win for the Business Travel Industry, GBTA and You

Earlier this month, I sent the note below as an email to GBTA members outlining why the FAA Reauthorization is such a big win for business travel. Read on below for more and tune in to this week’s GBTA podcast where I had the opportunity to talk with Shane Downey, GBTA Vice President of Government Relations, along with Todd Webster of Cornerstone Government Affairs for an in-depth discussion on the recently passed FAA Reauthorization Bill and what it means for business travel.

 

 

In a rare act of bipartisanship in today’s political landscape, Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a bill that reauthorizes the budget for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years. Before the President signed the FAA Bill into law, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 93-6 and it passed the House by a similarly large margin with a vote of 398-23.

Why is this such a big win for business travel?
As the voice of the business travel industry on Capitol Hill, GBTA staff tirelessly advocates for policies that better the business travel industry. Our Government Relations Committee provides insight to help us identify the issues that matter most, our Chapters engage in advocacy through our annual Government Relations Challenge, and most importantly, many of our members attend our Legislative Summit each year to take our collective voice to the Hill and meet with their Senators and Representatives.

In this one bill, virtually all of the priority issues we have included in our Legislative Agenda for the past five years have now become a reality.

  • Long-Term Reauthorization: GBTA has been calling for a long-term FAA Reauthorization to provide stability to the nation’s air traffic control system, ensuring the ongoing safe, secure and efficient facilitation of air travel. This bill marks the first five-year extension since 1982. This follows years of instability created by three authorization extensions from 2015-2017, a federal government shutdown in 2013, a lapse in the FAA authorization in 2011 and 23 short-term extensions from 2007 to 2012.

  • An End to the Diversion of Security Fees: Over the past year, GBTA has been one of the lone organizations supporting the FASTER Act, which would end the practice of diverting a portion of the 9-11 security fee charged on each air ticket toward the national deficit. GBTA argued that this money should go towards security and improving TSA’s efforts as it was intended. This bill ends the current practice of diverting 60 cents on every fee charged by 2027.

  • PreCheck is PreCheck: PreCheck is a win for all passengers, leading to increased traveler satisfaction and overall safety. This new bill mandates that only those prescreened passengers enrolled in trusted traveler programs can use the PreCheck lanes. It also enacts measures to increase marketing and enrollment capabilities through authorized third parties, which will ultimately continue to strengthen the benefits of PreCheck.

  • No Voice Calls on Planes: GBTA has long-advocated for #NoCallsOnPlanes as the vast majority of business travelers oppose voice calls on planes. This bill calls for a regulation prohibiting calls on planes. As we always say, sometimes silence really is golden.

  • Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs): The bill did not include an increase in the PFC, which is a tax on air travelers and essentially a tax on the cost of doing business. The bill also calls for the formation of an expert panel to investigate the need for infrastructure, resources and the impact of increasing the fee – specifically calling out for representation from the business travel industry to act as a stakeholder on the panel. This is the direct result of our efforts to demonstrate the diverse needs of the leisure and business travel industries and showcase the important economic impact of our industry.

  • Rental Car Taxation: This bill prohibits discriminatory taxes on rental cars at airport locations, meaning that state and local governments can no longer put a tax on a rental car that they wouldn’t put on any other purchase. For example, specific car rental taxes used to pay for new stadiums targeted at travelers renting cars who are not from their voting district would be prohibited.

  • Business Traveler Protections: Finally, the bill included some consumer protections that will look out for our business travelers including mandates to set new minimum requirements for seats on airplanes; a call to refund passengers for services they paid for but did not receive; and for regulators to determine if it is unfair or deceptive for airlines to tell passengers that a flight is delayed or canceled due to weather alone when other factors are involved.

Thank you to all of our members who have been a part of our advocacy efforts over the years. It was your collective voice that allowed our industry to achieve this tremendous milestone. The fight is never over though when it comes to advocacy as we must remain vigilant on these issues and stay on top of our next priorities. I encourage you all to attend our Legislative Summit next spring to make our voice even stronger. You can also stay up-to-date on GBTA’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., Brussels and around the world by subscribing to GBTA’s bi-weekly Politics of Travel email from GBTA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Shane Downey.

I would also like to thank our long-time friends and colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs. Our partnership over the past eight years has been exceptional and your contributions to our success immeasurable.

In closing, it is worth again calling out the outstanding bi-partisan work in Congress and the White House to look past ideological differences and put the future of the business travel industry – and business travelers that drive our economy – first. We hope that this is a model for future success for the global business travel industry and our leaders in Washington.
 


Podcast: GBTA Advocacy Update

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel talks with GBTA’s VP of Government Relations, Shane Downey. Shane provides updates on the latest advocacy efforts on the U.S. front including the FASTER Act, the PreCheck is PreCheck Act, Real ID and FAA Reauthorization.

 

 

Want to stay on top of the latest GBTA advocacy efforts on behalf of the business travel industry across the globe? Subscribe to Shane’s bi-weekly Politics of Travel email today. 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!


Podcast: Live from Center Stage at GBTA Convention 2018 Part 2

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel once again revisits GBTA’s 50th Convention that just took place earlier this month in San Diego. Last week you heard our Monday Center Stage sessions and for today’s episode, we bring to you Tuesday’s industry sessions.

First, up you’ll hear from Kurt Ekert, CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, who led a panel of experienced travel buyers in a shift from typical GBTA Convention Center Stage sessions, which often put a supplier on the hot seat. Their discussion centered around the growing responsibilities for travel buyers and technology’s increasing role in travel management as buyers work to ensure duty of care responsibilities and cost-savings measures are in place, while also balancing individual traveler preferences and convenience.

Next up you’ll hear our final Center Stage panel which saw Guy Langford return as a moderator to GBTA Convention – he is Deloitte’s Vice Chairman of U.S. Transportation, Hospitality, & Services Leader and asked a panel of executives covering various sectors of the business travel industry if bigger really is better in the travel sector, prompting a discussion of advantages and disadvantages of industry consolidation.

 

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!

 


Podcast: Live from Center Stage at GBTA Convention 2018 Part 1

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel takes you back to last week’s GBTA Convention. Hear all of Monday’s Center Stage sessions. First, up you’ll hear from Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson in a one-on-one interview with GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick as he shares his outlook on the business travel industry, the shakeup over group commissions and the company’s home-sharing strategy.

Next up is a panel featuring Successful Women Leading in Business Travel, moderated by GBTA’s Allied Member of the Year honoree and the SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Dorothy Dowling. The panel of top female business travel executives share their insights on the unique challenges they faced as women arriving in leadership positions within their companies.

Wrapping up today’s episode, you’ll hear our final Monday Center Stage session where TSA Administrator David Pekoske and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan took the stage together for the first-time in an interview with McCormick. The two highlighted technology’s potential to dramatically increase security and passenger facilitation.

 

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!

 


Podcast: 2019 Global Travel Forecast

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel dives into the findings of the just-released 2019 Global Travel Forecast, conducted in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel. GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick and Jon Gray of Rockport Analytics discuss high-level findings and what buyers can expect for travel prices across the air, hotel and ground sectors in 2019. Learn more and download the full report here.

 

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!


Podcast: The Challenges of Security in Today’s Volatile World

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel, GBTA previews an upcoming Center Stage session at Convention 2018 focused on safety and security in today’s volatile world while looking back on our Conference in Toronto where GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick interviewed officials from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the Canadian Border Service Agency.

 

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!


Podcast: GBTA Storms Capitol Hill

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel, broadcasts live from our 16th annual Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. Hear from GBTA’s Shane Downey on the issues more than 100 GBTA members will be taking to Capitol Hill today followed by interviews with several current and former members of Congress.

 

 

More on what you’ll hear this episode:

Shane Downey outlines three issues impacting business travel that GBTA members are discussing today during meetings with their Senators and Representatives:

  • Delivering the message to Congress on just how powerful business travel is as an economic driver. Learn more here.

  • Asking Congress to pass a 5-year FAA Bill instead of just another extenstion – and that the bill does not increase the PFC charge, but does include a provision to keep cell phone voice calls off planes.

  • Asking members of Congress to co-sponsor the FASTER Act to support using the entire 9-11 aviation security fee for airport security and passenger facilitation to keep air travel safe.


Next up Mike McCormick interviews former Reps. Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Al Wynn (D-MD) on navigating the partisan divide.

The show wraps with interviews with the 2018 GBTA Navigator Award honorees. The Navigator Award honors Senators and Representatives who have been strong champions for business travelers and the business travel industry.

 

Rep. John Katko (R-NY)

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)

Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!